I think my siblings and I must be the only children in the history of the world to have been named alphabetically!
The 3rd child born to my parents in 4 years, Cindy was a small baby, born just 17 months after her big sister Beverley. Andrew, about to turn 4 was the proud big brother who apparently doted on his littlest sister.
I could never understand until about 12 years ago what it actually meant to lose a child. Not that I can fully understand that even now but it was only when I was married and friends started having children that I could better understand what it must have been like.
I always knew about her and what had happened - it wasn't hidden or hushed, my parents were very open about it, but it was all just facts or history to me until I was an adult.
I remember "mourning" for a child, a sister that I never knew when I finally understood what an 11 month old was like - a part of the family, crawling around, not just a still face looking at me through black and white photographs.
Realizing, when my own children were born, that 10 days before their first birthday, party preparations would be in full swing, only they ended up planning a funeral instead.
Until my own daughter was 4 and her little sister a baby, I could never have known what it meant to come home without your youngest child. To deal with your own grief as well as that of your other 2 very small children, I still don't know fully.
I would, as a teenager, often call myself "the replacement" when I was angry with my parents but I understand now the joy my birth must have been to a grieving family.
If it weren't for the death of that little girl, I may never have been born, and neither would my own children have walked the earth. It's difficult to understand God's timing a lot of the time and His purpose for things that happen in our lives. Sometimes perspective can come after a long time.
Who knows where Cindy would have been today, had she lived. What she would have been like. Married maybe, a mother maybe, we'll never know.
It's been a long time since I looked at old photo albums, Niave says she's never seen a photo of Cindy, I think it's time to dig out those albums again and take a trip down memory lane.
Cindy Faith Koch
27 July 1972 - 17 July 1973